27 July 2012

Love Story Part 1, in which Angel is a Cheeseball

So, here's the beginning of a very short series with rather long parts. I should warn you that our supposed love story sounds different every time we tell it, because in some places it's even hard for us to figure out what happened, and besides, I'm sure everyone has multiple versions of their love story. There's the love story you tell each other, there's the one you tell your relatives, there's the one you tell your girlfriends, and here's the blog version of how the couple pictured below got together. It's still true. Well, as true as any of the stories I tell here...

Technically, I saw my husband, Angel, for the first time on my very first day of college. It was an inauspicious meeting, to say the least. I attended a fair that was held for the purpose of informing incoming freshmen about the student clubs on campus, and he was manning the table for the campus Bible study. He was talking to another student, and didn’t even greet me when I slipped up to the table and wrote my email address down on the sign-up sheet. To this day he says he doesn’t remember seeing me there.

I had just turned 17 when I started college and wasn’t all too happy to be there. Let me rephrase that. I most emphatically didn’t want to be there. I seriously considered not going to college, but my mom made me try it for a year. I lived off-campus with my grandparents, and because I didn’t have a driver’s license, my grandpa had to drop me off and pick me up from school every day. In college! Because of this, I wasn’t able to go to many extra-curricular events, but I was allowed to go to the weekly Bible study meetings every Friday night.

Angel was the senior student leader of the Bible study, and that’s how I got to know him. It was a small Bible study, and the students who attended regularly were a tight-knit group. After I finally got my driver’s license (at the beginning of my second semester of college), I was finally able to start hanging out with them more often—after Bible study was over and on Saturdays too. Most of the other students were upperclassmen, but even though I was young for a college freshman, I fit right in with the group. I loved their company, their joy, and passion for God. I wasn’t allowed to date, even on the rare chance that any of the guys I knew would have asked me, but I enjoyed spending time with the whole group. If it wasn’t for that Bible study and the friends I made there, I would never have stayed at college the full four years.

Angel  and I were always hanging out during the second semester of my freshman year, in the company of our mutual friends, of course! He and I worked together with other students from our Bible study on an evangelistic television show that was broadcast on our campus tv channel. We went to chapel together. At some point during the semester, Angel asked me to succeed him as the leader of our Bible study, since he would be leaving after graduation, and I said yes, so he started training me in the logistics of running an official student club.

 The cast of our little tv show

Looking back now, with the eyes of someone a little older and perhaps, wiser in the ways of men, Angel acted rather suspiciously during my freshman year. I knew that he had a girlfriend when I first met him, so for me, he was automatically “taken,” and I didn’t think of him at all as a possible romantic interest. I’m a good girl, I am!

I did notice, as time went on, that Angel’s girlfriend never accompanied him to our frequent group get-togethers. At some point I distinctly remember thinking that if I were Angel’s girlfriend I wouldn’t let him hang out with me so much! Angel discovered where I parked my car every day and the table where I habitually sat and did my homework. I soon found that he was parking his car next to mine every day, and frequently found that my regular homework table was already occupied by him by the time I got back from a class. Towards the end of the semester, Angel began inviting me to attend many events with him. I attended his senior banquet, his nurse’s pinning ceremony, and his graduation. Each of these events I attended in company with mutual friends—at this point I saw nothing suspicious in Angel’s behavior, but was only happy to have friends who included me in special events. 

Towards the very end of the semester, when Angel was saying things like 

“It would be good if you can meet my parents when they come for my graduation” and 

“I’m going to pray for tornadoes and thunderstorms come so that your plane won’t be able to leave and take you home” that I started to feel like maybe, just maybe, he had a crush on me. 

One evening, Angel came over to my grandparent’s house to play dominoes with me and my younger cousins. At this point, all of my extended family was put on high alert. They did not at all think it was normal for a 24 year old almost-college-graduate to consider playing dominoes at a friend’s grandparent’s house with a 17 year old “friend” and her pre-teen cousins a fun thing to do on a Saturday night. I insisted to them that they had nothing to worry about—we were just good friends.

Angel had, however, started grabbing my hands occasionally and holding them to “warm them up,” because, it was true, I was always cold. And, while I may have been rather innocent, I wasn’t that innocent. I also may have been conservative, but I wasn’t conservative to the point that I was against letting a cute guy hold my hands for a supposedly noble purpose of warming them up. Besides, in between the lectures on old-fashioned courtship, my mom likes to quote this line from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.” So I figured I could give him a bit of encouragement.

 Angel's graduation, May 2009

Basically, Angel was a cheeseball, but I continued to be the cute, non-suspicious girl who secretly rolled my eyes whenever he exclaimed “Your hands are so cold! How do they get this cold? I’ll warm them up for you.” Because I was slightly suspicious at this time, I did manage to bring into the conversation, either smoothly or not so smoothly, the fact that I had never had a boyfriend, that I wasn’t allowed to date, and that any guy who was interested in me would have to contact my parents and get approval first, and that they wouldn’t get approval unless there was a strong focus on getting married in the near future. I told him that I didn’t believe in dating for the purpose of dating, and that I thought romantic relationships should only be entered into with the thought and purpose of them culminating in marriage, because otherwise, messy breakups are inevitable. I told him for this reason I could not even go out one on one with a guy friend, because it had the appearance of a date. {This was necessary because Angel is a cheeseball, so he would have been happy to take me out to dinner, movies, and other activities on our own and not call them “dates,” just “hanging out with a friend”} I told him I’d never kissed anyone.

I’m not really sure Angel heard anything I said, because if he did, he forgot it all instantly. During the last few weeks of our semester, all thought to final exams went through the window as he met me every day at my homework table and proposed that we go out for dinner or some other fun activity. I repeatedly refused to go with him unless he found a friend of ours who would go too. If a friend couldn’t be found, we’d go to my grandparent’s house and eat dinner or play monopoly. Angel was the only friend who I ever brought home to my grandparent’s house, and he came multiple times, but really, you can’t call it a date when your grandma is showing her medicine bottles to your almost-nurse of a guy friend. Plus, Angel had a run of luck, beating me at every board game we played, so that didn’t make me particularly happy with him. On my last day before going home, Angel seemed, even to my uneducated eye, desperate to spend time with me—but, as usual, I insisted on spending time together in the company of others. So, he took me to a graduation party for a classmate of his that I’d never met, and then in the evening, we tried calling our friends to see if they’d go bowling with us, but when they said  they couldn’t, because they were too busy packing, we went over to their house bearing gifts of Taco Bell and helped clean their kitchen. Angel dropped me off at home a scant minute or two before my midnight curfew.

And the next day I left.


Psych! What will happen now? Will we ever see Angel again? Come back soon to find out what happens next!

Unknown said...

This is lovely! Thanks for sharing! Isn't it funny where love takes us?!

Anonymous said...

This is so sweet!!!

J.Rylie.C said...

Beautiful story.

Hi, hopping from Restless Blog Hop. I am your 197th follower, hope you can follow my little blog. Thank you and have a great weekend.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Match made in heaven!

New follower (128th) from Restless Blog Hop. I would be so much grateful if you could follow me at my Fitness... Fashion... Family blog. Enjoy your weekend.

EJ said...

Hi there, new follower from restless Blog Hop. I hope you can follow back, that would be so awesome.

Katie Cook said...

hahah this is hilarious! i love that your grandmother was showing him her medicine bottles, haha! have a great weekend, can't wait for the next installment!!! love Katie

Garage Sales R Us said...

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Kristin said...

Oh I'm a sucker for a good love story! Can't wait to hear part 2! So did he ever break up with his girlfriend? Or did I miss that part? Love the "your hands are cold" bit - you're right...cheeseball :-) Happy weekending Rachel!

Anna said...

aw, love part 1! You're so good at telling the story with detail! I want to read more! :) It makes me want to write down my own story!
(thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! I think it's so cool you're married to a nurse!)

Joslin said...

What a move! Your hands are cold...priceless! Girl, you made him work for it (even if you didn't know it half the time). Good!

Amy said...

What a lovely story! Sounds like you had a wonderful start of your relationship! Awesome writing too! I can't wait to read more!

Amy @

Joanna said...

Hey Rachel! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm glad to meet you and I'm now following your lovely blog! looks like we have a lot in common. I was homeschooled most of my life. woohoo!

Joanna at

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing writer, Rachel! What an awesome start to the story. =)

Keep Shining,

Alexandra Anne said...

Hey, I've nominated you for the Liebster award! Check out my post for details :)

Anonymous said...

I love how you were clueless at first! Beautiful story, Rachel! Now I'm off to read part 2!